October 28-November 4, 2018
Chocolate and Mezcal focused featuring Day of the Dead
8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS
Come experience this now world-renowned food destination with two industry professionals with Portland-Mexico City connections. We’ll enjoy the best of Mexico City. From its best street food right through to the most elevated dining you’ve seen featured on Netflix’ Chef’s Table and more. You’ll experience first hand Mexico City’s vibrant museum and market cultures. And you’ll get insight into one of the most exciting city’s for xocolatl in the world. Taste first-hand what inspires Portland’s Xocolatl de David’s David Briggs. Wash it all down with excellent mezcals while you’re learing and exploring that spirit.
Day 1- Sunday
Arrive by 7 pm
Reception in the Mexican Restaurant in our stunning, and classic Mexico City Hotel, Camino Real Polanco. Relax with Mexico’s inventive cocktails, artisanal cervezas, local wines, and traditional bites. After the reception we will journey out for a true Mexico City Taqueria experience at El Kaliman. Catherine will hand select the top “must-try’s” and talk a little about their history and origin.
Day 2 – Monday
A continental breakfast is included with each room so head down and eat up – but not too much! We will be headed downtown with our first stop being Churreria El Moro for Chocolate con Churros on to the Zocalo.
After breakfast we will depart for Mercado de San Juan for a true, authentic Mexican Mercado experience. DF Based Food Writer Nicholas Gilman of Good Food Mexico City will give a walking tour of the popular market filled with mountains of chiles, tropical fruits, piñatas, flowers, and exotic meats. We will then make our way back to the heart of downtown where folks can either buzz around the Zocalo and Palacio de Bellas Artes.
We will then sit down for a modern Mexican lunch on the stunning terrace of El Balcon del Zocalo – best view downtown!
Return to the Hotel for rest/free time. For those who are hungry for dinner, David and Catherine can recommend something walking distance, or a local taco joint, or one of the 6 restaurants in the hotel including Morimoto Mexico City for Mexican/Japanese fusion delicacies.
Day 3- Tuesday
Breakfast at Fonda Margarita- not only the best traditional breakfast in the city, but the one meal that will make you want to move here.
Today is a causal day strolling through the cobblestone streets of Coyoacan. Walk through the market, get lost up and down the streets, but whatever you do, you can’t miss a walk through Frida Kahlo’s home and museum, La Casa Azul.
Meet on the main square by 1:30pm where we will head over to La Casa de los Tacos for a lunch of Prehispanic dishes. Did you really think you were coming to Mexico and not eating a grasshopper or two?
Return for rest/Free Time
Competing with the legendary Pujol as Mexico’s top rated dining destination, the group will head over for a stunning representation of modern Mexican at Quintonil. Though chef/owner Jorge Vallejo may have started as a sous chef under the legendary Enrique Olvera, his restaurant has actually surpassed that of his mentor on the San Pellegrino’s World 50 Best list.
Day 4- Wednesday
Enjoy another wonderful continental breakfast at the hotel but again, don’t fill up! We will have a tamale tasting as we begin our Thursday activity.
Enjoy a tamale tasting as we gear up for a private Chocolate tasting and lunch with David and Hectór Galván of La Casa Tropical. Hear the history of Mexican agriculture and cuisine through the eyes of the crop that was once used as currency! Let Hector share the stories of its growers as he walks the group through the process of roasting, peeling, and processing by hand. David will share his secrets of tempering to the perfect temperature and blending with other natural flavors. Taste the uniqueness of each bean strategically matches with a plethora of Mexico’s natural ingredients.
Return for rest/Free Time, then dinner and Mezcal tasting with David Briggs and Erick Rodriguez of Alma Mezcalera!
Day 5 – Thursday
We will head out around 1pm for lunch on the way to the small village of San Andres Mixquic located about 1.5 hours south of Mexico City proper. Retaining strong ties to its indigenous roots, San Andres Mixquic or “Mixquic” for short, is fast becoming one of the top places to experience this uniquely Mexican tradition. Stroll through the stall lined streets brimming with authentic dishes and colorful crafts. See homes traditionally decorated with marigolds and paper skeletons; even visit a shrine made from real human bones!
But the real treat comes when the sun goes down. We will hop right in to the mournful procession as we make our way to the graveyard surrounding the San Andres Apostol. Here generations of families gather around graves adorned with flowers, photographs, food, cigarettes – anything their loved ones would need when coming back to earth on this special night. The vigil goes until dawn with prayers, cleansing rituals, and a roll call honoring each loved one gone. This is a true look into the celebration that is Dia de Los Muertos.
We will return around 10pm to our warm beds and reflect on the truly touching experience.
Day 6- Friday
Walk across the street to the 600 plus acre Parque Chapultepec, or “Bosque de Chapultepec” where David and Catherine will meet everyone for a picnic breakfast of the best Tortas de Chilaquiles in the city.
Once fueled by Mexico’s favorite street food breakfast you will spend the morning back in the time of the Aztec’s and Mayans in one of the most recognized museums in the world – Museo Nacional de Antropología.
I am sure we have all worked up an appetite so we will head out around 2 for lunch at Contramar – a lunch you will not soon forget. Chef Gabriela Cámara has held steady at the top of the list of Mexico’s best resturants for this seafood spot she opend in 1998.
Return for rest/Free Time
FREE NIGHT! If your appetites return, David and Catherine will recommend a few other hidden gems not on the itinerary.
Day 7 – Saturday
Enjoy a lavish and traditional day in old Mexico starting with breakfast at El Cardenal in San Angel. Spend the morning walking the artisanal market of San Angel’s Bazar del Sábado picking up hand made textiles, baskets, art, jewlery, and more. Working up an appetite we will meet a previously specified location before heading over to our final meal together – Pujol.
Having won the title of Mexico’s #1 fine dining restaurant for almost a decade, Pujol has unbuttoned its collar and is now taking a more casual approach. Experience first hand why chef Enrique Olvera, despite his dramatic shift, is still holding rank in both San Pellegrino’s Latin America’s 50 Best and World’s 50 Best.
Day 8 – Sunday Departure. We can help you with suggestions and arrangements to extend your stay. For those who are not are free to travel, return to Portland
Ready? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call to get more info or to book your spot(s). EARLY BIRD SAVINGS UNTIL 10/31/17! LIMITED AVAILABILITY for this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
David Briggs is the owner and chocolatier of Xocolatl de Davíd based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2005, Xocolatl de Davíd has grown to become an internationally recognized chocolate line demonstrating how both savory and sweet elements work harmoniously with chocolate. Xocolatl de David has won 4 Good Food Awards and 5 International Chocolate Awards for David’s creative blend of unconventional ingredients with single origin, bittersweet chocolate from South America and the Dominican Republic.
For the past four years, David has been working with Héctor Galván of La Casa Tropical, a bean to bar maker whose sole mission is to preserve and protect Mexico’s heirloom cacao. David works with Hector to create exclusive bars highlighting the flavors of Mexico and beyond. In his travels to Mexico over the years, David has immersed himself into the world of Mezcal with visits to palenques in Oaxaca and tastings with some of the most knowledgeable people in the business. He now boasts one of the biggest private Mezcal collections in the PNW.
LISTEN TO Chris Angelus' interview with David below.
Catherine Manterola is a Mexico City native who began her food career in Portland working for Little Green Pickle and Feast Portland. She was later called home to Mexico City by world-renowned chef Enrique Olvera to oversee sponsorship and international marketing for his culinary event, Mesamérica. After a year in France working for butchery and charcuterie maven Kate Hill of the Kitchen at Camont (Portland Meat Collective Camas Davis’s mentor) she has returned to her roots and splits her time between her family’s cattle ranch in Central Texas and the bustling food scene of Mexico City.
She is currently co-founding a consulting firm and fund that crosses borders connecting food systems with contemporary hospitality.
Take a listen to David talk about his career, and his love of Mexico City:
8 days/7 nights
$3975/pp Double Occupancy / $700 single supplement (see deposit and payment details below) YOU MAY LEAVE A DEPOSIT HERE
($250 Early Bird discount earned for deposits before 12/31/17.) $500 Deposit/pp holds spot refundable up to 12/31/17. Balance of 50% of cost of trip due by 2/1/18. Then, balance of full cost of trip due by 6/01/18. All payments made after 12/31/17 are non-refundable. Payments other than initial $500 deposit (fees added) may be made by check only.
Our trips include accommodations in a beautiful, 4-Star hotels, hotel taxes, buffet breakfast, all transfers to and from the airport. In addition, all dining experiences cited in itinerary, and transportation to our excursions away from the city. They do NOT include airfare or trip insurance (can be purchased online), tips, mini-bar, incidentals and personal expenses.
We can help you with excursions before, during and after as well.